West Virginia Wesleyan College officials announced a new tagline and logo Wednesday that college staff and students say has been in the works since November 2012.
The college's new tagline, "Find Your Voice," is one that many college and student representatives say they feel truly defines the atmosphere at West Virginia Wesleyan College.
"We just sort of realized what we've always known," Katie Loudin, coordinator of outreach and leadership development, said. "I think that it's just a realization of our identity as a college."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Melissa Toothman
Director of Admission John Waltz reveals the new logo for West Virginia Wesleyan College Wednesday.
Loudin said students who have attended Wesleyan have sometimes changed their career paths or goals after discovering their voice, or what they would like to achieve in life.
The tagline concept was introduced by Loudin, who came up with it while talking with her husband during a long car ride.
"Find your voice also applies to the student who comes in and really begins to dig more deeply or grow within the field," Loudin said. "It also is both literal and metaphorical. To me, finding your voice encompasses a lot of things. It can be finding your voice as a writing major. It could be literally on the stages of the performing arts. It can be about finding your voice within a small class, where you're heard, because it's not so big that you're swallowed up by numbers."
Director of Admission John Waltz said the college has also experienced a steady growth over the years, even while other colleges may have experienced enrollment declines. The expected incoming freshmen class of about 470 students is the largest class the college has experienced in 10 years, said WVWC President Pamela Balch.
The total enrollment of new students is about 500, and enrollment has increased by approximately 12 percent, she added. Balch called the growth a "testament to the incredible work of the entire college community."
Vice President for Advancement Bob Skinner said that it also has been about 10 years since the private college in Buckhannon has had an official tagline and logo. A group of marketing and research students had an active involvement in that process, through extensive research and by conducting various surveys with alumni and students that were used as an aid in the tagline and logo selection process.
Randy Tenney, the athletic director, also played a role in advocating for the design.
"I'm very pleased with it. I think it's bold. I think it's collegiate. I think it's traditional," Tenney said. "We are very proud to display this logo."
Many people, who are familiar with the college, recognize the orange paw print as a logo that represents WVWC. Loudin said the paw print will still be a supporting graphic, but it will no longer will be the central image. She also said the college's seal will remain the same, and that all three designs comlement one another.
Tenney said the college wanted to find something that looked just as good on a football helmet as it would on a piece of stationery - a more unified image to connect the two.
Waltz said, "We're very happy to say that a lot of that actually came from the athletic side. Our athletic director was really vocal about wanting to bring those things together. He was sort of tired of having academics and athletics as different things."
Tenney said the new logo will appear on helmets, hats, jerseys, track uniforms and that it will be featured on T-shirts given to incoming freshmen this fall.
The logo, which was designed by Jensen Design Studios, features mountains resting just beneath the letter "W." College officials said they'd discovered the Mountain State's mountains are a geographic feature that stand out to students who attend West Virginia Wesleyan College. The mountains represent a "higher" education.
"We're very excited about the new look and this new logo," Skinner said.